POLIO [to 23 April 2016]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 20 April 2016
:: The globally synchronized switch from the trivalent to bivalent oral polio vaccine, the first stage of objective 2 of the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018, is underway between 17 April and 1 May. Follow a live update of which countries have undergone the switch here. Learn more about the rationale for the switch through this series of videos.
:: The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) met on the 12 to 14 April to discuss polio eradication. The official report from there meeting is available here.
:: The final communique of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Istanbul Summit, adopted by OIC Heads of State and Government, reaffirmed the importance of preserving the health and wellbeing of children as a duty of parents and society as prescribed by Islam, and appealed to religious scholars and leaders to support polio eradication efforts.
:: The World Health Assembly (WHA) Report on Poliomyelitis has been published. The report summarises the status against the Polio Endgame Plan and Resolution WHA68.3, adopted by the WHA in May 2015.
:: Around the world, countries that remain vulnerable to polio are continuing to vaccinate children and build immunity, as shown in Jordan through this series of photographs.
Selected Country Levels Updates [excerpted]
:: One new case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) was reported in the past week in Shigal Wa Shelten district of Kunar province with onset of paralysis on 27 March. The total number of WPV1 cases for 2016 is now three, compared to one reported by this date in 2015.
:: One new WPV1 environmental positive sample was reported in the past week from Sukkur district of Sindh province, with a collection date of 19 March.
:: Efforts continue to further strengthen surveillance activities in all provinces of the country to ensure that no child is missed with the vaccine
:: The third Outbreak Response Assessment in Madagascar found that the surveillance system is not yet strong enough to conclude that polio transmission has been interrupted. Thirty-nine high-risk districts have been identified to receive focused attention.
Pakistan polio: Seven killed in anti-vaccination attack
BBC News – 20 April 2016
Seven Pakistani policemen, three of whom were guarding polio workers, have been killed in Karachi, officials say.
Eight gunmen on motorcycles fired at a group of three police guards and later at a van containing four officers, officials told the Pakistan Tribune.
Islamist militants oppose vaccination, saying it is a Western conspiracy to sterilise Pakistani children.
In January, 15 people were killed in a bomb attack on a vaccination centre in the south-western city of Quetta.
Polio workers called off the vaccination drive in Karachi following the attack, despite the home minister’s order to continue, the Tribune reported.
According to Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, police have offered a reward of 5 million rupees (£33,000) for information on the killers, and 2 million rupees (£13,000) compensation to the victims’ families.
Talking to reporters at the scene, Sindh police Inspector General AD Khawaja said polio drops would be “administered to our children at all costs” and said security for polio teams would be increased…
Vaccination Boost for Pakistan’s Children: World Bank and Partners Provide New Funding for Immunization
Washington DC, April 21, 2016—The World Bank approved today an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $50 million to increase the availability of vaccines for infectious diseases, including polio, for children under two years of age in Pakistan.
The National Immunization Support Project (NISP) is supporting the country’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) that aims to immunize all children against eight vaccine preventable diseases: tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenza type b (Hib), and measles. Strengthening EPI will also support Pakistan’s access to newer vaccines which are either in the process of roll out (pneumococcal vaccine) or under planning (rotavirus vaccine).
The Project is also receiving additional support of $80 million grant from a World Bank administered multi-donor trust fund, Gavi – the Vaccine Alliance, and the United States Agency for International Development. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also supporting the project through an innovative partial conversion of the IDA credit into a grant upon successful achievement of project objectives.
“Pakistan is grappling with the public health emergency of polio virus transmission. Ensuring strong routine immunization services is the first essential pillar in polio eradication”, says Illango Patchamuthu, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “The World Bank and other development partners are working with the Government of Pakistan to strengthen routine immunization services at the critical endgame stage of polio eradication, particularly as Pakistan introducesinjectable polio vaccine into its routine schedule”.
The project will incentivize provincial government capacity for rigorous monitoring and effective implementation of its program, including strengthened vaccine logistics, and deploying and expanding qualified technical and managerial personnel.
“Pakistan’s performance in maternal and child health remains weak and inadequate immunization coverage is a major challenge. Childhood immunization against vaccine preventable diseases can help in significant reductions in disability and death”, says Robert Oelrichs, World Bank Task Team Leader of the Project. “The project will establish linkages of the federal and provincial EPI cells with private sector health providers and health-related civil society organizations (CSOs) working in low coverage catchment areas – especially urban slums.”
Children under two years of age in Pakistan are the main beneficiaries of NISP – particularly children belonging to the poorest households in which immunization coverage is lowest. In addition, all children will benefit from strengthened polio and measles interventions.
The credit is financed by IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poor, with a maturity of 25 years, including a grace period of 5 years.
WHO African Region AFRO
:: African countries withdraw type 2 component of polio vaccine
Brazzaville, 22 April 2016 – As the world gets closer to global polio eradication, all 47 countries in the African Region are joining the rest of the world to switch from trivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (tOPV) to bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (bOPV) in routine immunization schedules.
WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: National polio immunization campaign concludes in Yemen
Sana’a, 21 April 2016 – This week, a national house-to-house polio immunization campaign, organized by the Ministry of Public Health and Population and supported by WHO and UNICEF, concluded in Yemen. More than 4.5 million children under the age of 5 were successfully vaccinated by more than 40 000 health workers. Yemen has been polio free since 2006.
:: Libya completes first polio campaign since 2014 21 April 2016
:: Keeping up the fight against polio: maintaining population immunity in Jordan 19 April 2016